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Nov 08

Newsletter from the Vargas

Dear loved ones and friends…
WHY THANKS GIVING?
1Thessalonians 5:18 says:
 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning YOU and ME…
What is happening here in Paraguay: at this very moment – November 2017.
MINISTRY:
 It has been raining and flooding here for days, it’s cold and dreary weather days without end and lots of people are sick… l (Joy) am battling asthma and Robert is recovering from a hacking cough and conjunctivitis… 
The church roof is leaking terribly because of the unending rain which is causing mold and problems with allergies…and Robert wants to fix it but the weather won’t cooperate so he is mopping the floors filling buckets of water and in the meantime sighing and singing to keep up… fixing lights and windows and pastoring…GBH!
The last 
four months and the whole month of November has been packed with evangelizing and discipeling activities in the church, at the school, as well as on National level, with seminaries, meetings, spiritual retreats, camps, preparations for the Men’s and Women’s congress…
l went to Urybycua with the Women’s Federation to teach, ( the same area where we always go with the clinic) and 32 women of the district participated at the women’s retreat there, it was a blessing…
We do like to do those things and l love teaching but sometimes it’s overwhelming!
We are getting older, ha!

l (Joy) woke up this morning very heavy hearted, sick and discouraged 
and had to ask the Lord to please give me a thankful heart and spirit…l wasn’t planning at all to write this Newsletter although l know it’s far overdue…Most of the missionaries are gone home, some won’t come back, others next year…
l was feeling sorry for myself… 
And what did the Lord do? He shook me up!
 While looking for some papers, He showed me this devotional from Nov. 2011… a coincidence?
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In 1620 the Mayflower came to what is now; Plymouth, Massachusetts, after being on the water for 65 days…
During the first winter they experienced a lot of sickness because of poor food and hard work, and changeable weather…About half of the people died.
Of the eighteen married women, only four survived.
In the spring the Indians came to help them. They told them to put part of a fish beside the seeds for fertilizer. They did this for corn, pumpkins and beans, doing so…
They had a beautiful and bountiful harvest! In the fall they decided to have special days of Thanksgiving and praise to God for the blessing of such good crops…
In 1789 President George Washington issued a general proclamation that November 26
th should be kept as a National Thanksgiving Day. By 1830 New York had an official Thanksgiving Day.
Soon other northern states followed New York’s example…Virginia was the first southern state to adopt this custom. It proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day in 1855. 
Our government has set a special day to be observed as Thanksgiving Day, a day to praise the Lord for the many blessings we have…
Satan is a master in loading people down with cares, worries and anxieties, but sincere praise and a thankful heart towards God will work wonders…
“God wants us to put on “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”
 Isaiah 61:3.  
A heart full of praise has no room for unthank-fullness…
Maybe we should all make a list of what we are thankful for…
The simple things of life, like clothes to wear, food to eat and a house to live in, things that God has blessed us with…
We still have the freedom to worship and praise the Lord! Let us do it with all our being in this dark world filled with confusion, stress, depression, oppression and deceived hearts… and lead others to Know Him…thank Him and praise Him…
 Let’s not forget that Jesus wants to be our guest of honor this Thanksgiving Day and every day…
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It hit me “right between the eyes” so to speak, or you could say that it was rightly aimed at the dark and gloomy places of my mind and heart… I suddenly  became very convicted, while reading it… and a little song started playing through my mind:
“Count your blessings name them one by one”.
 Many of you know it.  And then…
(It was like a flood) All the benefits of knowing HimPsalm 103:1-5.  came to my mind and heart and meditating on those  encouraging verses, I started thanking my faithful Lord and Savior, and l found myself singing my favorite song: “It is well with my soul…”
My attitude changed and l can assure you that it was through Him and Him alone…
That’s why I am writing this newsletter!!!!
Thank God for His mercy and grace by which we can be renewed day by day…if we are open to it!

Since we came back from the States we have been going through a difficult time, a time of breakings in our personal lives, as well within our church…
 Clinging desperately to the Lord, standing upon His Word and promises…through changes of heart, learning lessons and going on by sheer faith and not by sight or feelings…
We are doing what He told us to do, serving Him through it all…
And God is faithful, by His Grace; He is still using us…

CHANGES, ITINERATING PASTORS
Changes are coming up for many of the pastors…
At the end of this month we will know if we are going to continue serving where we are or if the Lord has other plans for us…Maybe in another church or perhaps a totally new direction to keep serving Him…
Please, pray for us and God’s perfect will in our lives…We will write you on the end of the month to give you and update, for l do have some wonderful stories of our families here who came to know the Lord and are growing with leaps and bounds…GOD IS GOOD…ALL THE TIME!
HAPPY THANKGIVING!
Love and prayers
Robert and Joy Varga.

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